Charles Barrett School Safe Routes to School Project

Project Update

The original completion date of October 7 has been moved to October 17.  A concrete base uncovered under the roadway was originally believed to be flexible (asphalt), but when excavated was found to be rigid (concrete).  The contract only had an item for flexible base removal; therefore, a change order was required.  This resulted in a slight delay in the projected completion date.  In order to construct the concrete crosswalk, one lane of traffic has to be closed for a few days.  Concrete must be allowed to cure.  The temporary portable signals are required to regulate traffic during the after-hours and are being tested at this time. They are scheduled to be removed late Saturday.  Motorists are asked to be patient and mindful of the elementary school zone.   Please visit this website to receive construction updates.

Project Summary

In response to numerous citizen requests to improve pedestrian safety on Martha Custis Drive and Valley Drive in front of the Charles Barrett School, the City has launched a comprehensive Safe Routes to School safety project in this location.  The project is funded through a federal Safe Routes to School grant.

Public Outreach 

Three community meetings and two public hearings at the Traffic and Parking Board were held for the project, which involves physical improvements - shortened crossings, intersection modification, and sidewalk installation.  As a result of the meetings, feedback from members of the community indicated more support for the concept which maintains two-way traffic on Valley Drive. After careful consideration of input received from community, including the Parkfairfax and Parc East communities, as well as the Charles Barrett School PTA, the final plans include:

  • maintaining the existing all-way stop at the Valley Drive and Martha Custis Drive intersection across from the school
  • maintaining two-way traffic on Valley Drive
  • installing high-definition reflective "ladder" crosswalks
  • reducing crossing distance and geometrically reconfiguring the Valley Drive/Martha Custis Drive intersection - this will change the intersection from a "Y" intersection to a "T" intersection, which improves sight distance, safety, and adds grass where the crossing is shortened
  • reducing crossing distance and geometrically reconfiguring the Martha Custis Drive/Link Road intersection
  • installing sidewalk adjacent to the school
  • installing florescent-yellow-green pedestrian crossing advance warning signs

This project also involves refining the parking restrictions in front of the school to improve safety.  Improving parking restrictions at this location will result in the addition of at least 3 parking spaces where “NO PARKING” restrictions are currently in place.  A community meeting was held on March 15, 2011 at the Charles Barrett School library to garner input  on the proposed parking restrictions. To view the powerpoint presentation from the March 15th community meeting, please click HERE 

On March 28, 2011, the Traffic and Parking Board approved the parking changes as a result of the project. To view the docket for the March 28, 2011 meeting, please click HERE

A pre-construction meeting to discuss upcoming construction work and construction hours was held on Tuesday, July 24 at 7pm at Charles Barrett School Library.

This project also includes installation of bicycle sharrows on Martha Custis Drive and Valley Drive, as well as pedestrian improvements to the intersection of Tennesse Avenue and Valley Drive.

Project Status

Major construction activities will begin in August 2012 with completion anticipated for fall 2012.

Contact Information

For general project information, please contact Carrie Sanders, carrie.sanders@alexandriava.gov, 703-746-4088.

For more information about construction activities, please contact Emilio Pundavela, emilio.pundavela@alexandriava.gov, 703-746-4095.


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